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Zoro Already Has ADVANCED Conqueror’s Haki!

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Obviously inspired by the most recent One Piece episode, where it looked like Zoro is capable of making conscious use of Conqueror’s Haki.

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Though few things to mention:

The directors definitely reached out to Oda regarding multiple details for the latest release. This is further emphasized by the fact that one of the running plot points got resolved within the anime itself:

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It was Yamato all along, and not some random third party. Anime solidifying it simply allowed the author to not bring the moment up again for clarification.

Regardless, Oda, at the very least, approved the Zoro’s Conqueror’s Haki scene for the anime, if not outright helped design it.

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But even with that out of the day, there have been several indications of Zoro being able to utilize basic Conqueror’s in manga.

Awareness regarding Conqueror’s Haki

The very first thing to get out of the way: Zoro is not like pre-skip Luffy.

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While Luffy had experienced the sensation before (and Rayleigh even implied he can even actively use it), he had no idea what in the world it was during Rayleigh’s explanation.

Zoro already knows what Conqueror’s Haki is- he has experienced it up-close and was able to pinpoint exactly what it was immediately.

That much is already established- and it means that Zoro, unlike pre-timeskip Luffy, is not clueless about what happens when he or anyone releases passive bursts of Conqueror’s. In fact, in the panel above, there are heavy implications that he’s already able to utilize it; the comment (even if he said it jokingly) makes very little sense otherwise.

If he used a passive burst of Conqueror’s Haki against Kaido by unlocking it during that moment, it’d make absolutely no sense for Zoro, someone who is very much familiar with and can identify the release of said haki, to be confused about what just happened- he already knows what the sensations feel like. You can argue that he was a bit too jaded to notice, but that in itself is stretched excuse.

Brook’s reaction and parallels

There are several points regarding this scene which seem to imply that Zoro actively made light use of basic Conqueror’s Haki (which happened to be at the same time as Kaido lifting Onigashima up) in this scene:

  • Brook is also someone who has witnessed Conqueror’s Haki up-close multiple times, and he obviously knows what the haki is. He knows what its release feels like. There’s absolutely no reason as to why he’d blindly assume that Conqueror’s Haki is being released without feeling the heavy pressure of it, which Brook is evidently very familiar with. Specially when he doesn’t associate earthquakes with Conqueror’s or Haki in general.
  • That also explains why he’d shockingly ask the question- feeling the Conqueror’s Haki being released, only to be followed up what looked like an Earthquake. It dumbfounded him and he found it beastly because this was the first time he ever witnessed “Conqueror’s” causing such effects, so he immediately brings it up. Additionally, Brook never showed surprise at or questioned whether Zoro has the said haki or not; he merely expressed wonders at the effects taking place.
  • As for Zoro’s response, he obviously did not say anything regarding him releasing or having Conqueror’s Haki. He simply answered that he was not the reason behind the ground literally tearing itself apart.

Lastly, that scene in itself is very comparable to most other scenes involving Conqueror’s Haki. With similar motion lines drawn around Zoro’s face, only to be followed by a pig panel of those lines centered around Zoro’s body, again. I’m aware (or at least I think) that there has been a few other instances of similarly drawn moments, but given the context, comparison is important. For example, here’s a clear-cut comparison with Luffy’s Marineford release:

Rooftop moment

  • First thing to immediately note is that not only Kaido possesses Conqueror’s Haki himself, but he has lived around its users for his entire life. From Rocks, Whitebeard and Big Mom, to fighting against Roger, to fighting against Oden, to facing off with Shanks, to defeating both Eustass Kid and Luffy during recent events. He knows the Haki in question like the back of his hand.
  • The fact Kaido feels any presence of Conqueror’s Haki from Zoro pretty much solidified its usage (specially from narrative perspective), no doubt about it. The enigma here is that Kaido is shocked at the usage. He almost seems unsure for a moment as he exclaims the question. This isn’t like Luffy where he calmly realized the Conqueror’s following the basic, passive usage of it. This is clearly different. Another thing to note is that Kaido states Zoro can use Conqueror’s Haki rather than simply having it- and while the choice of words isn’t that big of a deal, given the context, there is heavy implication that Zoro somehow utilized certain form of Conqueror during his attack- implementing the haki in his attack.
  • But similar to Kaido’s reactions, another enigma is that we see absolutely no visible presence of Conqueror’s Haki at all. There are no black lightnings, haki leaks, or anything that clearly signifies usage of said Haki barring Kaido’s words.
  • This can perfectly explain Zoro’s reaction. If it was just a basic, passive burst of Haki, Kaido would not be surprised by it to this extent, and Zoro, who has experienced it many times before and is familiar with its pressure, would not be unsure of whether he used it or not.
  • This might also be able to perfectly explain the concept of Asura: is a sudden manifestation of limbs and heads that not only boost Zoro’s prowess, but also act as physical parts of bodies… there’s absolutely no explanation as to why Zoro, a human without any Devil Fruit, would be able to pull off something like this. And unlike, say, DJ, Oda has given no explanations at all, and had Zoro use it VERY minimally. Conqueror’s Haki being behind it makes most sense.

In short, there are multiple reasons to assume the Conqueror’s Haki showcased on rooftop was an advanced form- but not similar to the one Luffy or Kaido utilize, as evident by the lack of similar visuals and Kaido’s own shocked reaction.

On top of that, there has never really been a single scene where Zoro implied he’s not capable of using basic Conqueror’s Haki, while a bunch of moments implying that he does, in fact, possess it. The fact that anime got the permission to blatantly showcase it (and yes, they did get the permission; the episode contained spoilers that even Manga readers are not aware of) feels like another surefire way of establishing his control over the elementary aspect- so Oda can primarily focus on mastering of the advanced forms as Zoro’s next development or ceiling.

There’s no hard evidence, but it really seems to be the route Oda is taking with it. If he merely wanted to build-up Zoro’s basic Conqueror’s Haki, he’d have established its usage in some way other than through an Asura attack with completely different visuals- he’d have done something similar to Kaido recognizing Luffy. As things stand, it really seems like he might just establish the basic usage of Conqueror’s within Zoro’s existing arsenal, and move onto the power-up he actively set up during 1010 as next phase of his development.

*Theory by Shanal

Oda has kept the real strength of the Straw Hats hidden since the Timeskip!

Oda made a lot of intentional parallels between Jinbe and Carrot